Representing Venezuela, actress and model Sthefany Gutierrez, 19, finished third in Miss Universe 2018. She took to Twitter to congratulate the winner Catriona Gray, 24, of the Philippines and thank the host country Thailand.
Gray, Gutierrez and 92 other women competed for the Miss Universe 2018 crown in Thailand. Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa crowned Miss Philippines as her successor at the end of the coronation night on December 17, 2018 at the IMPACT Arena, Exhibition and Convention Center in Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok, Thailand.
Runner-up to Gray was Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green. Had the South African representative won, it would have been the second back-to-back win in Miss Universe following the consecutive wins of Dayana Mendoza and Stefania Fernandez, both representing Venezuela, in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
In the final round of Miss Universe 2018, Gray, Gutierrez and Green were asked the same question. Each was asked to share the most important lesson she has learned in her life and how she would apply it to her time as Miss Universe.
“I grew up in a family filled with women and each one of them taught me something very important,” Gutierrez answered through a translator. “But what I always remembered is that by working hard and chasing for our dreams and by having courage and strength and willingness to achieve these dreams, we can achieve anything we want in this lifetime and tonight, I am proving this. I am here at Miss Universe.”
In an interview Gutierrez had with the jury of Miss Universe 2018, she revealed that she sold empanadas with her grandmother when she was a little girl. This won the hearts of the audience particularly her fellow Venezuelans.
Gutierrez was born in Barcelona, Anzoátegui, Venezuela on January 10, 1999. She is currently studying law at Santa Maria University in Puerto La Cruz, Anzoátegui.
Representing Delta Amacuro, Gutierrez won the Miss Universe Venezuela 2017 title at the Estudio 5 de Venevisión in Caracas, Venezuela on November 9, 2017. She was crowned by Miss Universe Venezuela 2016 Keysi Sayago, who finished in the Top 5 at Miss Universe 2017 on November 26, 2017 at The AXIS in Las Vegas, Nevada.
During the preliminary competition of Miss Universe 2018, Gutierrez was one of the candidates who stood out. Her national costume was inspired by the Venezuelan goddess protector of nature Guaiachia.
Here is a clip featuring Gutierrez rehearsing a dance performance: